Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New faces and stars blend in Cambodia squad to face Laos and Afghanistan



New faces and stars blend in Cambodia squad to face Laos and Afghanistan

Star Cambodia forward Chan Vathanaka celebrates after scoring Cambodia’s winner in the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier against Timor-Leste at Olympic Stadium on October 21, 2016.
Star Cambodia forward Chan Vathanaka celebrates after scoring Cambodia’s winner in the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier against Timor-Leste at Olympic Stadium on October 21, 2016.

New faces and stars blend in Cambodia squad to face Laos and Afghanistan

National head coach Prak Sovannara has called up eight new faces, including two goalkeepers, in his 23-member squad, while summoning four experienced stars currently involved in the Malaysian top flight this season for Cambodia’s international friendly against Laos on March 21.

The same squad will travel for the Angkor Warriors away AFC Asian Cup qualifying Group C clash against Afghanistan at a neutral venue in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on March 27.

In keeping with his well-advertised drive to give talented young players the right break at the right time, the 44-year old tactician, who was the first from the Kingdom to obtain an AFC A licence, has cast his eye on several youngsters who have shown promise at club level.

The head coach has picked Keo Soksela of Visakha FC and Oum Odoum of Svay Rieng in goal instead of Boeung Ket’s vastly experienced Cambodia No1Sou Yaty.

Other newcomers include defenders Sath Rosib of Boeung Ket and the Phnom Penh Crown pair of Ouk Sovann and Yue Safy.

In midfield, Sovannara has brought in Sok Heang of National Defense Ministry and Sin Kakada of Crown, while surprise choice Mat Noron of Electricite du Cambodge has the chance to rub shoulders with some of the country’s most experienced forwards.

Malaysian Super League quartet

A Football Federation of Cambodia source familiar with the selection process indicated to The Post that Sovannara had done his best to meticulously blend youth and experience to build the team for the future.

In some of his choices of youth there is a clear indication that he has April’s regional Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy U21 tournament in Brunei in his sights.

As widely anticipated, Sovannara has brought in the services of Cambodian star forward Chan Vathanaka of Pahang FC, Negeri Sembilan winger Prak Mony Udom, PKNP FC striker Keo Sokpheng and Teregganu midfielder Thierry Chantha Bin, all of whom moved to the Malaysian Super League at the start of the season.

Cambodia travel to Laos for a tune-up game before taking on Afghanistan to wind up an almost one-year campaign in their Asian Cup qualifying Group C.

Cambodia won the first leg against Afghanistan 1-0 in Phnom Penh last June for their only victory in the third round of qualifying, having lost double-headers against Jordan and Vietnam.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the